Sto:lo (À:lmèlhàwtxw) Early Education Centre supervisor Jenn Carman (left) speaks with Minister of State for Child Care, Katrina Chen on June 29, 2018 during Chen’s visit to Chilliwack. (Paul Henderson / The Progress.)

B.C. Liberal MLA criticized by NDP for claiming childcare can be ‘harmful’ to children

Childcare critic Laurie Throness says Quebec universal childcare has ‘some ill effects’ on children

The provincial Minister of State for Childcare and the NDP are piling on Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness, who is the BC Liberal childcare critic, for his comments suggesting childcare is “harmful” to kids and that mothers should just stay home.

The NDP’s caucus issued press releases on March 4 and March 5 calling out Throness and asking BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson if he agrees with the childcare critic’s comments.

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness speaking on Feb. 22, 2018. (Screenshot)

In a committee meeting, Throness pointed to studies he says claim that while childcare benefits low-income families, there is no short-term benefit and questionable long-term benefit to universal childcare for children of middle-income families.

His latest comments build on what Throness has said in the past, namely, that if one parent were simply to stay home, government-funded childcare would be unnecessary.

“I can tell you how many child care spaces we have right now in B.C.,” Throness said speaking against universal child care on Feb. 22, 2018. “We have one full-time, 24-hour-a-day space for every child in B.C. By law, child care is now, and always has been, universal and 24-7.”

• READ MORE: Chilliwack-Kent MLA critiques B.C. child care, comes under fire for year-old comment saying parents can just stay home

In the committee meeting on March 3, Minister Katrina Chen reiterated her government’s position that more affordable childcare reduces costs for families, helps parents return to work, and grows the economy.

“I would simply remind the minister that it’s not about parents going back to work or about growing our economy,” Throness responded. “It’s about what’s best for our children.”

The Progress asked Throness to comment on the NDP caucus press release, and he pointed to his comments on Twitter, adding: “My concern here is that the government wants to pay for the cost of child care in part by sending more parents to work, but this must not be done at the expense of child welfare. In the light of studies that show some ill effects of universal care in Quebec, the program must be carefully designed.”

A Twitter spat ensued in which Chen said in a press release the next day, that Throness doubled down.

“Does Andrew Wilkinson agree with his critic that childcare is ‘harmful’ to kids?” read the headline of the press release.

“On Tuesday, Throness claimed that childcare is ‘not about parents,’ suggesting that reducing costs for parents and helping them return to work were not good reasons to invest in childcare,” the release stated.

“To sum up, Throness believes: Childcare is ‘harmful’ to children; Parents (often mothers) should just stay home; We shouldn’t reduce childcare costs or improve access for families. Despite these views (and many others, including being anti-SOGI and anti-abortion), Wilkinson kept Throness in his role as Critic for Children and Family Development and Child Care when he shuffled his critics in September.”

Chen insists that the BC Liberal leader “and his hand-picked childcare critic are out of touch with B.C. parents.”


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness speaking on Feb. 22, 2018. (Screenshot)

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

North Island College announces 2020 graduation award winners

North Island College has announced the award recipients for the 2020 Graduation… Continue reading

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Creekside Apartments gets utility charge relief from Port Hardy council

The apartment building is undergoing restoration from a fire that happened back in 2017.

LETTER: It’s a labour of love keeping the Port Alice golf course running

‘We North Islanders are indeed fortunate to have two gorgeous golf club’

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read